Porchtop

When the weather permits I'm the kind of fella who likes to sit outside and enjoy a bit of fresh air.  That doesn't mean I like to sit quietly and enjoy nature though -- I need to take my toys out with me.  That means a laptop to do a little work with, and now my Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the multimedia dock and a set of desktop speakers from my local big box store. 

 

For watching video, listening to music, or kicking back in the Android Central Turntable.fm room listening to the jams, this setup rocks.  It lets me keep my laptop free for working, no pausing video and switching tabs and windows every five minutes, and the viewing angle is just perfect while my Tab is in the dock.  Plus you can plug the dock in to AC power to keep things charged, or use the 30 pin passthrough connector with the Samsung dongle for HDMI access.  The built in speakers on the Tab work while it's docked, but there's also a 3.5mm audio jack on the multimedia dock to connect a set of speakers to if you need a bit more volume -- handy to drown out the chorus of mockingbirds that seems to start right around dusk here at the homestead.

The best part?  Everything is portable.  When it's raining or cold, and I'm forced to stay indoors the dock and speakers can sit right on my desk or coffee table and still let me enjoy a little video or audio from my Tab, and the whole set-up makes for a hell of a bedside clock if you set it up on your nightstand.  If you like to use your Galaxy Tab as a media consumption device, you ought to check one of these out.  I've tossed a couple pictures of the dock itself after the break.

Samsung multimedia dock

Samsung multimedia dock

Samsung multimedia dock

 

 

Reader comments

Time to Tab my way: portable media center

17 Comments

Great Jerry. But where do we find the adapter, or when will this become available? --(HDMI adapter sold separately)

No this is for gtab 10.1 because they use the iPhone style power adapter. That is problem they have one apadter to power all devises

Kinda lame article. Didnt tell where I could even buy this or if its compatible with any android tablet. Meh...

Ummm it obviously doesn't fit other android tablet, different charging mount. A simple google search and you will find many places to buy.

Don't know what's wrong with some people. You claim to be smarter than isheep. The words "multimedia dock"are hyper linked and when you click them it takes you right to the product information and how to purchase. The speakers are just any generic 3.5mm speakers you can get anywhere also outlined in the article with "from my local bog box store".

Nice write up. I am still looking for the HDMI adapter though.

The HDMI adapter is the only Samsung accessory you can still find here in Canada at the moment, everything else being sold out or not stocked yet.

As a simple charger and viewer dock this is nice, I think they made something similar for the 7 inch tablet in 2010. But when you have your sleek tablet and neat dock, why do we need big such clunky speakers?

This is some kick ass hardware. Great job Samsung. I'm going to get myself one of these bad boys to go along with a new Samsung GS2, European version of course with the cursor button.

This doesn't convince me to give up using my Core i7 Dell XPS 17 with brighter and sharper display. Plus my laptop has JBL speakers built in so I don't need to aux out.

Tablet's still don't make sense!!!

I had a tablet for a little bit but all the limitations with Hulu, Netflix, Google Voice dialing, Facebook and gaming drove me nuts.

I'm with you. I STILL can't see the value in a tablet. To me they still seem like sleek toys to have just for the sake of having a sleek toy. I like my phone for portability and my full size laptop (which really isn't that big or heavy) to get tasks accomplished.

I agree with the above.. I got a galaxy tab 10.1 recently, and I can't find much use for it. In theory, it's more than capable of replacing every task I do on my laptop except high end gaming, but in practice it requires a ridiculous amount of effort for each task you want to move from your laptop to your tablet

Example: On my laptop, I can watch videos off a Windows share somewhere on my network with a few clicks. On my tablet, the only ways I could come up with to do this are to manually download each file using the admittedly very well made AndSMB app, then play them with a video app, or to root it and through much linux-style effort and research mount the Windows share in a way that's transparent to Android apps.

Another thing that really bugs me is the web browser.. either I have to deal with extremely poorly-made mobile sites that constantly demand that I download their even more poorly-made apps off the market, or I have to tell the browser to identify itself as a desktop PC, and then it randomly crashes ALL THE TIME on buggy HTML5/javascript heavy websites, even Google's own websites

Another thing is the fact that there's no decent DRM-free video store, because relatively high speed internet caught on before the average Joe figured out that his electronics could all play (DRM free) video. So the only ways to watch videos on my Android tablet are:
- Rent them at RIDICULOUS prices from Google
- Stream them on Netflix (requires solid internet connection)
- Rip and convert DVDs, which I'm not sure is legal in the US under fair use any more, and even if it is legal it's a very time consuming process
- Buy DRM-encrypted videos from Zune/iTunes/Amazon, then decrypt them (which is probably illegal, definitely against their terms of service, and almost certainly extremely difficult)
- Steal videos off the internet outright (ironically this is probably the quickest and easiest route, and I'm not sure if it's any more illegal than decrypting the videos you "own" through DVD/online purchase)

Question for Jerry H: Where/how are you getting media to play on your tablet? Is there an awesome video store I just haven't found out about yet?

I would agree that there is almost no point IMHO if you don't have a wireless 3g or 4g connection. But having a device that's always on and always connected is priceless for business these days.